Subscribe: Jeremy Clarkson and James May put their classic cars to the test in a battle between the Grosser Mercedes and the Rolls-Royce Corniche.
This is what I've bought. It's a 1972 Rolls Royce Corniche
fixed head with coachwork by HJ Mulliner Park Ward. And it's everything I look for
in a classic, luxury car. It's quiet, it's supremely comfortable
and it's quintessentially British. Frankly, if you have £25,000
to spend on classic luxury and you don't buy one of these,
you're an imbecile. See what I mean. Reichsmarschall Goering has arrived. Morgen! This, James, as I'm sure you know,
is a Mercedes 600 Grosse, which was in 1963
the most expensive car in the world. Overpriced then, like most Mercedes. No! Does your car have
a hydraulically-operated sunshine roof? -No.
-Hydraulic windows? -No.
-Hydraulic seats. -No.
-Hydraulic doors? Hydraulic boot lid? -No.
-Well, there you are. That's that, then, is it? You've just got a Ford Zephyr
with a chrome nose. This is a coach built, hand-built car. Hand-built is just another way
of saying the door will fall off. What's this called?
Rolls-Royce Mulliner Park Ward? H J Mulliner Park Ward. It just sounds like
a plumbers' convention. Can I just show you something? You see these little windows here?
Do you know what they are for? So that when you're in the back
and the window is down, this stops the draught
messing your hair up. You've seen this as well?
Has your car got these? -Curtains?
-Curtains. No, they go in caravans. -Are you ready for this?
-Yes. Okay, ready? That's brilliant, actually. I have to concede that because what
I always found really difficult is this. Plainly, this had to be settled
and the only way Top Gear knows. So, we headed for the test track. What the Grosser did was cement Mercedes's
reputation for engineering integrity. I think the only reason they didn't
make it out of diamonds is because they're too weak and brittle. And then there's the ride. Just completely irons out the bumps. James will be saying the same thing in
that Ford Zephyr of his. I know he will. Absolutely nothing is allowed
to compromise the quality of the ride. In fact, I like to believe that if you
worked at Rolls Royce in the 1970s and you ever used
a word like handling or sporty… you'd have been fired. This was a car for heads of state,
dictators if I'm honest. People who had a 600 almost
always had access to an air force. That's why nobody carves it up. Partly 'cause it's got the loudest horn
in the world and also because… I can call in an air strike. At the track, our producers
had laid on a series of tests. The first inevitably involved Lord Stig. Okay, surprise me. "As you can see,
the Stig is currently driving a 1.1 litre Hyundai iEO down a slalom." It's an i10. Some say that's his own car. "You will attempt to beat his time in your much more elaborate
and sophisticated cars." Here he comes.
It's a proud and noble car that is. With the Stig's marker laid down,
the Rolls went first. Hit it! If this car had a monocle,
it would fall out now. I can't hold it, captain. It's not a dignified spectacle, that. Cock. He's reversing! This was ridiculous. Going to be sick. Okay, so the Hyundai did it
in 24.46 seconds and James… That's not good, mate. I had good reason to imagine
the green Grosser would do better. This is my secret weapon. Pull it down and it increases
the pressure in the shock absorbers to 3,000 lbs per square inch. Cor! It is cor! It will be like
an F1 racer going down there. It wasn't. No, it's not quite as straight level
as I might have hoped. But unlike the Rolls, its turning circle
was less than the width of the runway. That's quite good, actually. You've got to bear in mind
if you got a dictator in the back and terrorists come,
you've got to get away quickly. Oh! That's a lot faster than Captain Slow! Cock. So, with the first blood to Mercedes
it was time for our next challenge. "There will now be a quarter mile
drag race between the two of you." But it says the only thing is
you aren't allowed to use your engines. It says, "Old cars break down a lot and you should get used to pushing them
out of harm's way." A quarter of a mile pushing race? I've put my back out
just thinking about doing this. You're trying to get out of it.
Just say go. Are we ready? -I'm moving.
-I'm not. And I was already ahead. I've got no tracks on these shoes. How much does yours actually weigh? -2.2 tons.
-Mine's 2.8. Hang on, you're getting ahead. God, this is painful. I can't go on. I've had a heart attack. I've won that. Yes, you have, you've won. -I was still going.
-I don't care, I'm not going any more. I bet I've got Ebola. Mercifully the next test
did involve our engines. Which car could achieve
the highest top speed? He's reached five. Buffeting. I've got 80. The radar trap was set. 90. Good God, the trim's coming off. But with a six and three-quarter litre V8,
the final result should be impressive. It wasn't. Children come out
of the womb faster than that! Before James had stopped
I fired up the 6.3 litre big. Top speed of this car in 1969 was 128. 120 kph. 130. 160. There is, 100 miles an hour. 170. Stop! My brakes are on fire. We can see the smoke. It didn't stop and now it's on fire. It still stopped better than me,
I have to say. Yeah, your stopping distance is rubbish.